Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Food fixes everything, especially problems with society

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

 

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. Mother Teresa

If you’re like me, you want to disconnect from all election news.

Why do we hang our hopes on a leader for societal improvements?   Are we going to have these same conversations four years from now? Eight years from now?

What if the changes were easier than we thought, and we don’t need to wait for anyone?

I believe we can, and change simply begins with food.

Think about when you are happy?   It usually involves, family, friends and food, and connecting with each other around the table. It so happens there are grass movements (ha ha literally!) going on in the country to make sure everyone has access to healthy food.

  1. It begins with school gardens, community gardens, and rooftop gardens.
  2. It’s as simple as making sure a child has a good breakfast before school.
  3. It’s as real as a billionaire believing in chickens.

These powerful movements can grow with a single seed.  What do you say we each plant one?

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

What are we trying to accomplish?

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

einstein

It happened again. 

The other evening we are at a restaurant.  A family of four enters; the two little boys don’t even glance up from their cell phones as they are being seated. Shortly after orders are placed, the parents join the independent activity on their cell phones.

Yes, times are different but what hasn’t changed is the invaluable connection to the most important people in our lives.  As Einstein fears, are we at the stage where technology is surpassing human interaction?

  • How will our children learn they are part of a family that matters more than anything else?
  • How will they come to know the wonder and craziness of extended family if they don’t listen to the rich family stories?
  • How do parents teach values if children are listening to what is deemed newsworthy by popular culture?

When It Comes to Infant Language Development, Not All Toys Are Created Equal.

Parents – you are the perfect toy!

Of all the changes we would love to make in society but can’t – this one is completely in your control.

Please forgive me if I’m not impressed that your one-year-old knows how to swipe an iPad.  It would be so much better if they know how to turn the page of a book.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

What do you want for Christmas?

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

everett

Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.

Yoda to Obi-Wan about the purity of innocence and the insights that can be gleamed from listening to fresh ideas. – Episode II: Attack of the Clones

While wrapping my gifts I noticed empty paper cardboard rolls and ribbon spools.  Rather than toss them out, I looked at them differently; almost as if they would be treated as treasures for children with wonderful imaginations.

My thinking was heightened as I had recently spent time with such a little boy.  He seemed to be able to make a game out of any object, and included adults as part of the game.  That gave him time to get to know and appreciate us. When we left his house, he turned and said, “I want to give you one more hug.” I thought how priceless it is for family to hear that from a child.

I suspect that was largely due to the creative freedom he had to make up his own games.  Since he was a four-year-old boy, naturally the games involved a lot of physical movement.  But that might be why he was so happy.  I remember an interview a number of years ago with Dr. Vicki who talked about little boys and anger.  Please listen to her complete broadcast on dealing with anger, but the message is that little children, especially boys, need to move and play.  If they don’t have such opportunities, their pent up energy is displaced as irritability and anger.

When buying your children presents for Christmas, remember that playing with them makes the game so much better and far more memorable.

See how these toys from the past 100 years jar your memory.

During this holiday season, remember it’s more than the gift or the toy.  Be part of the fun and include extended family as well. The time you play with them is what the kids will remember.

Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Kwanzaa

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

 

Family – How to Raise a Child You Want to Meet in 25 Years

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Family is the most important thing in the world.

Princess Diana

As made famous in the Monty Python catchphrase…’now for something completely different’ I’m sharing a video rather than simply a blog post on this week’s topic – Family.

Presenting in a video format feels a little more personal, though I’ll continue to provide helpful information to support the topic throughout the week on Facebook and Twitter.

When asked, “What is the most important thing in your life,” people will respond without a moment’s hesitation – my family, though our actions may not be as obvious as our intentions.

Here are some thought starters on demonstrating the importance of family:

  • When you were growing up, you had a sense of different kinds of families you visited
  • Now that you are the head of your household, what do you want your children to remember about growing up in their home?
    • Ask them what kind of a family they want to be
    • They can even create a family crest
    • By defining your family, you stand together

This week, please look for Parental Wisdom’s Facebook post and Twitter feed on the kinds of things families can do together.

  1. Monday, July 6th – Coolest Roadside attractions in every state
  2. Tuesday, July 7th – Top 10 Sports Halls of Fame in U.S
  3. Wednesday, July 8th – Fun Activities that create memories
  4. Thursday, July 9th – Cooking with kids
  5. Friday, July 10th – Fun ways to read with your child

As always, feel free to add your own great ideas, because after all, we are all in this together.

Enjoy and have a great week!

 

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

#valueoftheweek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Believing in Magic Beans

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

How can the concept of magic beans help our children to be successful in the new school year?

For magic beans to work, you need two things:

  1. Believing in the impossible
  2. Adding a little water

For your child to be successful in the new school year you also need two things:

  1. Belief in their ability to something extraordinary
  2. Adding a little work

I believe in magic beans, and the picture above is proof.

The plant in the picture came from a clipping of a plant originally cared for by my mother-in-law.  Though Nana Doris passed away in 1982 before our children were born, we frequently told them stories about her, and every holiday make our special Nana Doris string beans.

We took the clipping about ten years ago when we helped my father-in-law move out of the house into an apartment, even though the original plant had not grown.

The results speak for themselves.  All we did was:

  1. Believe in family and the love that is always present
  2. Add a little water

How could you not believe in magic beans?

If your children need inspiration, visit my product page on inspiration.  

 

 

Have a wonderful last fling with summer, and a great school year!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom® 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beauty of a hug

Monday, November 18th, 2013

 

 

Most likely you have seen the news clips…a soldier returns from combat to his surprised family as you reach for the tissues.

Let me share what is like when hundreds of soldiers return to their families when the element of surprise is removed.  The Army band plays as the large screen projects images of the soldiers while they were away and the picture the soldiers received of their families back home.  Homemade welcome home posters can be seen in the stands and little children wearing My Dad is Home t-shirts run around Veterans handing out flags.

Months of anticipation and worry brought us all to this day.  In the crowd, moms hold babies born after deployment and toddlers too little to know let alone remember their deployed parent.  If parenting is tough with two parents, how difficult is it when one parent is unreachable and in combat?  But what the families have been through is nothing compared to what these soldiers have been through.

Then the greatest sound in the world…the siren of police escorts as the buses arrive.  The soldiers march in formation as the band plays. The Chaplin says a prayer of gratitude for their safe return; the commander thanks the soldiers for their service in what could be the shortest speech in history.  The families are waiting for his closing statement which is…find your soldier!

The best pictures are the ones not taken because we are all so focused on the joy of the moment that no one cares about taking pictures.

And you realize the only gift that matters is a hug.  So much to be thankful for!

Enjoy the holiday season.

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Appreciation

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

It’s been said that every cloud has a silver lining. That is true even with a storm as devastating as Hurricane Sandy

Sometimes it takes a loss for us to appreciate what we already have and what is really important; the safety of those we love and the simple comforts of home. 

This past week, families with no electricity found light in the darkness. Calm from the storm came in the form of uninterrupted time and doing things together like playing board games, cards, reading or telling stories by candlelight.  The game of life took on a very real form.

Many spent their time giving what little they could to those worse off.  I suppose for many Thanksgiving came a little early. 

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.   -John F. Kennedy

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

How technology may save families

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

They solemnly sat in the first row of St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church.  I didn’t know who they were, but understood the person memorialized was very important to them.  At the end of the service two young women and six young men were the pallbearers for their Yiayia.

I met them at the luncheon following the burial. They were the exact opposite of the adult children mentioned in a recent blog.  They were bright lights, confident and connected to each other.  But sadly because they lived so far away, my family doesn’t know them at all.

Today, twenty and thirty year-olds grow up understanding that moving away is a fact of life, while I grew up in a world where most of my family lived within walking distance.   The boomers who are now grandparents are on Skype, Facebook and Facetime on a regular basis to create a connection with their grandchildren that has to suffice between visits and hugs.

Perhaps the next version of Facebook will include a way to smell Sunday dinner.  Until then it’s a great way to watch a video of an older sibling making a new baby brother laugh, first steps, hockey games, or the school play.

I think the thing I enjoyed best about watching them yesterday was that the cell phones only came out at the very last minute for pictures. They spent the whole time connecting the old fashioned way…they talked to each other.

Nice meeting all of you! May our next meeting be at a family reunion.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Please read this before you tell the kids

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Welcome our guest blogger – Rosalind Sedacca, an advisor to Parental Wisdom®

July is National Child-Centered Divorce Month. In recognition of the challenges divorcing parents face, divorce professionals across the nation have teamed up to provide parents with free gifts and other bonuses related to divorce, parenting and transition issues.  Visit the link above to access valuable information and tools!

Getting Divorced?

What to Tell your Spouse Before You Tell the Kids!

By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

Ever go on a vacation without making plans in advance? The consequences are usually disastrous. If you fail to plan ahead regarding newspaper and mail delivery, feeding your pets or watering the plants, knowing where your destination is and reserving your accommodations, your vacation is likely to be filled with disappointment, frustration and even heartache.

What about preparing your children for your pending divorce? Do you have a plan – or are you going to wing it without any prior thought? For children, divorce is a monumental life experience for which they have no preparation. The very foundation of their security – their love for Mom and Dad – is being thrown into turmoil. Everything they knew and accepted as part of routine daily life is going to be affected in one way or another.  They don’t know what to expect and have little source of comfort other than their parents who are announcing the devastating news.

How can you help your children through this process? First, sit down face to face and talk to your children’s other parent, as if their lives depended on it. Regardless of your involvement with attorneys or other legal resources, this should be a conversation between two parents who love their children and want the best outcome for them.

Agree to set aside the emotional drama of your feelings for one another at this time … the hurt, anger, resentment, jealousy, competition, frustration, regret … and focus on just one issue: How will we tell our children about the divorce?

  1. Put yourselves in your children’s shoes.

Picture each of your children and talk to each other about how each child is likely to feel and react to the news. Put yourselves in their shoes and feel their emotions with deep compassion. You know your children. Discuss their ages and personalities. Are they likely to blame themselves … erupt in anger … beg you to stay together … want to run away and hide? Find a place of agreement and be prepared with the most comforting words and reassurances that will resonate with each child.

  1. Remind them they are not at fault.

Many children feet responsible in some way for their parent’s relationship problems and divorce. They need reassurance, again and again, that the problem is not about them – even if you’ve been fighting about parenting issues. Assure them it’s not their behavior that caused your conflict – and there is nothing they can do to make things different. You can say something like, “Mom and Dad have been having problems. We don’t agree about certain key issues and that creates conflict. So we are going to make some changes, but none of this is your fault and never was.”

  1. Reassure them that Mom and Dad will always be their parents.

Your children need to understand two things at this time. Mom and Dad will always love them – and will always be their parents. It is important to emphasize that no matter what changes occur over the weeks, months and years ahead, Mom and Dad will still always be their real parents and no one else will replace them. Tell them you both will always be there for them, no matter where you live or how things should change.

You can say, “No matter what happens, no matter what changes occur, one thing is for certain. Mom and Dad will always love you. That will never change. Regardless of where we live, what we do and how old you get. You can count on that. And don’t ever forget it.” Make sure you live up to that in the arrangements you will be making.

  1. Focus on change, not on blame.

Divorce is a scary word. It is wise at this time to talk to your children about change as a natural part of life. “Everything in life keeps changing. You grow bigger, stronger and smarter every year. The seasons change. You change grades and schools as you get older. Change means things will be different in some ways. It doesn’t mean things will be bad. Often change can make things better, and that’s what Mom and Dad want to do.”

Explain that it can take time for us to get used to changes, like starting a new grade with a new teacher. Other times change gives us a chance to do things in a new and better way, like trying a new sport or a hobby you grow to love.

Mention that the changes in our family are not about who’s right or wrong or who’s good or bad. “Mom and Dad both tried their best to resolve our problems. The old way didn’t work for us and now we will be trying a new way for our family to live so there’s more peace, calmness and happiness for us all. Let’s think about how we can see the changes ahead as a new adventure — a brand new chapter in our lives. It may not only be different – it may be better!”

  1. Be confident and consistent.

Children are often frightened when faced with new experiences – and divorce is a monumental challenge for them to grasp. Keep reminding your children that everything will be okay. “Mom and Dad are working on all the details so you don’t have to worry about anything because Mom and Dad have it all under control.”

This isn’t the time to go into a lot of specifics. You may not have many answers yourselves. Keep the message very generic. “We’ll have new ways of doing some things … some new responsibilities … some differences in our schedules. But life will go on. We will get used to the differences. Some of them we may even prefer. And after a while, we’ll look back and say, life is different than it used to be, but it’s all okay. Mom and Dad are okay, you’re all okay, our family is okay and we still love each other.  And that’s most important of all!”

Ideally both Mom and Dad should tell the children together and agree in advance about the messages you are conveying. If you’re having the conversation alone, you must stay neutral and not talk disrespectfully about the other parent that your children still love. Focus on your children’s feelings and reactions. Respond compassionately in the best way you can.

These core messages are the foundation your children will depend on when they are feeling frightened, sad or insecure. Repeat them often in your own words and your own style. You’ll be rewarded in countless ways as you and your children encounter and overcome the challenges of life after divorce.

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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is the author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook™ Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! Acclaimed by divorce professionals, the book provides fill-in-the-blank templates that guide parents in creating a family storybook with personal photographs as an ideal way to break the news. For more details, a free ezine, articles, coaching and other resources visit http://www.childcentereddivorce.com.

© Rosalind Sedacca  All rights reserved.

5 Tips to Prevent Scarring Your Kids After Divorce!

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

 By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

Divorce need not wound and scar your children if you put their emotional and psychological needs first when making crucial decisions. Some parents don’t understand that every decision they make regarding their divorce will affect the well-being of their children in countless ways. The emotional scars are not only harder to see, they’re also much harder to erase.

Here are five keys to helping your children move through and thrive after divorce.

1)    Remind them this is not their fault.

Children tend to blame themselves for divorce, no matter how bad Mom and Dad’s relationship has been. The younger the child, the more likely this is so. Sit down together and talk to your children, emphasizing that they are in no way at fault. You can say something like: “Mom and Dad don’t agree about certain key issues and that has created conflict. Even when some of the issues are about you, it does not mean you are to blame. You are an innocent child who we both love. Sadly, Mom and Dad disagree about certain important issues — but not about our love for you. You are not in any way at fault.”

2)    Focus on change — not on blame.

Divorce is all about change within the family structure. Often those changes can be beneficial and create a more peaceful environment for your children. Never burden them with adult information and judgments. Focus instead on the fact that change is an inevitable part of life and not necessarily bad. Let your children see that everything in life keeps changing. “You grow bigger every year. Seasons change, clothing styles change, your school classes change. Sometimes it takes a while to get used to changes, like when you get a new teacher or try a new sport. In time you may come to like these new changes. Let’s give it a try.”

3)    Respect your child’s other parent.

When you belittle, put down or in any way disrespect your ex – regardless how justified it may feel – it hurts your children in deep and long-lasting ways. Children innately love both their parents and feel a connection to them. When you insult their other parent it creates confusion, guilt, sadness, insecurity and low self-esteem in your children. Instead, remind them that Mom and Dad will always be their parents and will always love them. No one will replace Mom or Dad either. “We will both always love you and be there for you, no matter where we live or how things should change.” Then strive to do the right thing on their behalf.

4)    Let your children continue to be children.

While it may sometimes be tempting, never confide adult content to your children. They are not psychologically prepared to handle the emotional complexity. Save venting for trusted friends, a divorce counselor or support group.  Also never ask your children to spy, act as messengers between both parents or provide inappropriate details about the other parent’s home life. Again, this pressure’s them in many ways – none of which are positive. It is not their place to assume adult responsibilities or help you to find evidence against your ex.

5)    Make decisions through the eyes of your child.

Before making any decisions regarding divorce issues, think about the consequences for your children. Ask yourself, what will they say to me about this when they are grown adults? Will they thank me for the way I handled the divorce – or be angry and resentful about my attitude and behavior? The choices you make will affect your children for years and decades to come. For their sake, take the high road and be a role model they will want to emulate.

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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is the author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook™ Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love!  Her innovative approach guides parents in creating a personal family storybook, using fill-in-the-blank templates, family history and photos, as an effective way to break the news with optimum results. For more information, free articles, free ezine and other valuable resources visit http://www.childcentereddivorce.com.

 

© Rosalind Sedacca 2009 All rights reserved.